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DJI SD Card Slow, Full, or Malfunctioned? (DJI SD Card Problem Fixes Guide)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
DJI SD Card Problem Fixes Guide

SD card malfunction. Change card. (Code:10023)... 

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably all too familiar with that message. 

You probably also felt the deep frustration that comes when nothing you do seems to make that error go away when you’re trying to fly your drone.

Well, stick around because this article is made solely to help you fix your dji sd card problems and fly in peace. 

Most dji sd card problems can be fixed by either formatting your drone, updating your drone’s firmware, or using your computer to fix the SD card. In some cases you’ll have to replace the card entirely.

Usually though, most DJI SD card errors stem from the card itself rather than the drone. So that’s the first thing you should look at. In some cases it’s due to the drone’s firmware, but these are rare.

Below are the most common SD card problems in DJI drones and how to fix them.

Most Common DJI SD Card Errors & How To Fix Them

Encountering SD card errors in DJI drones can be a common yet challenging issue for drone users. These errors can disrupt your filming and cause data loss.

Slow DJI SD Card error

Let’s start with the most common sd card error. This is an error that happens often not just when it comes to DJI drones but in general.

Generally, SD cards have slower read/write speeds compared to other external storage devices. And that speed only gets slower when the card reader isn’t compatible with the card. This is a problem that happens because of compatibility, or lack thereof. 

The reason why this is such a fatal error even though it’s the most common is because since the card is slow, it cannot accept a fast enough write from your drone’s feed and so it won’t keep up with the bitrate. In most cases this causes the frame rate to drop. In rare cases however, it might even cause your drone to malfunction and crash.

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So what’s the fix? Well, you’ll have to change your SD card to a newer, faster model. That’s all there is to it…

Some people suggest doing some “fixes” to increase its speed using driver updates but those rarely work. And sure, since the card reader plays a role, using a different drone might allow the SD card to be faster. But let’s be honest, you’re not getting another drone simply because of an SD card.

I’ve found this video that explains the problem perfectly: 

DJI SD card not formatting

Another common SD card when it comes to DJI. Caused almost always because of the SD card being too slow for the drone.

If you’re trying to format your sd card through your drone, you might get an error like this:

FB7 IcuERjpb15VEPTti6 c3O Yi7Iw6lhd3l7q5w kFC7HmyRfdFxx2y 5xUNoHQtMsJrmoMdCM6m51NLSKmk5OlXseH9ycp8RX h1oTHN

It means one of two things. Either the sd card is corrupted, or it’s too slow for the drone.

To test if it’s not a matter of speed and it’s an error with the SD card entirely, simply plug it to your PC through a card reader and try formatting it. If it works then you’ll know it’s because of speed. If it doesn’t then it’s a bigger error than that.

Either way, it’s time for a new SD card for your DJI drone. Ideally you’d need a U-3 card. Sandisks are usually the go-to when it comes to DJI drones.

qRs2Fi7EAzwnyyzs8XTIYp WCGBqvRORCO1 Jh8DxxzxnqrVEz6VbFuXuyIf lzZRdPupF6UyvHr9GeT5EoIR NJdz95WO6j pzS23g2oPf4DDjF5aaPrx iCzgKFH5gm6Q
eu8tUiqPDdE8CQ9hdrLasDT8 rqensQzd6mT01CPzLmpD1DVg4hWKmLMKCQW25VNw9Qncvq6sOEb0gHbo2MSgI A43AnNiqCFR7ckzcb44MI69tHFYpYWgMqrFzBHHw YzfCDfOzAFFgheKwvT9Vlw

Of course, you can still take out the card and format it through your computer. Just remember not to format your SD card too much since it consumes its half-life faster and only makes it read/write slower over time.

Corrupted SD card error

Viruses and malwares can find their way into your memory card if you plug it in an infected PC or Mac. Most Viruses that automatically import themselves in external storage devices do so to either corrupt, delete or put hidden files on your SD card to infect other PCs. Since we’re talking about drones here, the worst thing is if they corrupt or add too much storage to your card, making you unable to use it in your drone.

So what’s the fix, you ask? Good ol’ Antiviruses. I know they’re not as trendy as they were back then but that’s the only viable option you have besides getting a new card.

You might ask why you can’t simply format your card. Well, any virus worth their salt will make itself and its hidden files immune to low-level formatting. 

DJI SD card full

Let’s say your DJI SD card is full. Well, all you have to do is free up some space… Bet you you didn’t expect that!

Alright jokes aside, sometimes this is a genuine error. After all, you may be unable to format your SD card as discussed above.

Or, you might have an entirely different problem. Sometimes the SD card can be “locked” preventing you from importing new data on it. The reason for that is that most SD cards have a write protection feature on them that prevents new data from being added.

If that feature is turned on in your dji’s sd card, you’ll get a memory full message. Removing it is quite easy though. 

Simply inspect your memory card to find the little lock switch located on the left side of it. It can be toggled up or down. The upward position unlocks the SD card and removes the write protection feature while the down position locks the SD card or activates the write protection feature. Slide it down to unlock your SD card.

DJI SD card error 10023

This is the general error that occurs for most DJI SD card problems.

KpBy VjMhRiCD3OGX8lOeZMw Z88nmehHI2Dwm bpf02o95YitrHGtYUruEW RUd5Tz1iqMa9XHGqts82QUALPx5LPSXOcA Yuy6awkHb9U8FR2QETAnJcQd 1RdYfEtZ5crk

It usually occurs either because your drone’s SD card is too slow for it (which we already explained above), or because you’re simply not using the right formatting for your SD card.

Let me explain, while there is no such thing as a wrongly formatted SD card, some formatting systems aren’t compatible with DJI drones.

There are 3 commonly used file systems to format an SD card: FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS.

NTFS is the standard format file system on most computers as it is a very effective file system, however, some drones can’t process it.

You’ll usually get a problem like this that says “SD card unavailable” when that’s the case:


Here is what you’re going to do:

  1. Insert the SD card into your drone
  2. Turn on your drone and controller
  3. Open the DJI Assistant 2
  4. Go to the settings and under Camera, find “Format SD Card” and click on that.
  5. It’ll ask you if you want to format your sd card, hit yes.

Make sure you backup everything on your computer as this will wipe all the files you have in there.

DJI SD card not reading

A common problem that occurs when the sd card is either corrupted, not properly physically installed in the drone or as we said above not properly formatted.

We’ve already seen the possible solution for this. There is another solution if your card is corrupted and that’s through the windows PC command line.

To do this, plug the corrupted SD card into your pc and note the drive letter. To find it, go to “My Computer/This PC”. Then go to the “Devices and drives” section. You’ll find your SD card there. Make note of the memory card’s drive letter.

Then click the search button on your windows in the taskbar and search for cmd. Open it as an administrator then type “chkdsk” followed by your drive’s name (letter). For example, if your card’s drive letter is ‘f’, you’ll type “chkdsk F” in the window. 

Simply wait until the process is done. Basically, what this command does is it makes windows scan your sd card/drive for any issues and fix those issues.

SD Card Problems in Popular Drones and Their Fixes

Below we’ll look at some of the common SD card problems that occur in some DJI drones, and how to fix them (we’ve already gone over the solution for most sd card problems so we’ll just lightly brush on them).

DJI Mini 2 SD card error:

Almost always the number one sd card problem when it comes to the Mavic Mini 2 is the formatting of the card. This usually occurs when you’ve formatted your SD card through a PC (which uses NTFS formatting) and then tried using it on your Mavic Mini 2 (Which uses FAT32 or exFAT).

The fix is simple, backup your files on the sd card in your computer since you’ll be deleting them. Insert the card on your Mavic Mini 2 and format it through your Fly App. That should get it in the right format and make the drone compatible with it. These two videos explain it perfectly.

DJI Mavic Pro & Mavic 2 Pro SD card error:

When it comes to the Mavic Pro and Mavic 2 Pro, these usually require faster SD cards to work. The most common problem you’re likely to get is having a slow card which is easily fixed by getting another U3 card. I recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro.

Sometimes the problem is due to the formatting. We’ve already talked about how to fix that but for some reason that fix doesn’t always work with the Mavic Pro. If you find yourself stuck and can’t format the card through your Fly App, try formatting it through a camera and then plug into your drone. That seems to be a troubleshoot that works.

Here is a video that explains it perfectly: 

Other times it may not be a problem with the SD card, but a problem with the drone using its internal storage by default. Fixing that is easy and can be done through the Fly App. The video below showcases how to do that:

DJI Osmo SD card error:

The thing about the OSMO is that it tells you exactly what the error is on the camera screen. And most times the error is simply a slow SD card. In which case all you have to do is get a faster one.

When All Else Fails… How to Fix Your DJI’s SD Card?

We’ve covered quite a lot of solutions already, but let’s say everything else fails. Well, you’re just gonna have to get a new SD card.

There is another option though for those who either don’t want to buy an SD card or have files that are too important to let go of. If nothing you do fixes your SD card, the problem may be with the drone instead. In which case you should update your drone’s firmware.

It’s not impossible for your drone’s memory card issues to be caused by the firmware. So always check if DJI releases firmware updates for your drone and be sure to regularly update it.

SD Card inserted in DJI remote controller but isn’t showing up

A common error that drone pilots do is insert their sd card in the remote controller rather than the drone.

The remote controller’s SD slot is only for recording the screen on the remote and other telemetry stuff. For the actual recording of the footage and pictures you’ll have to insert your SD card inside your DJI drone. Like this:

What Causes DJI SD Card Issues?

Let's talk about some reasons that cause DJI SD card issues. Understanding these factors can help in troubleshooting and preventing future problems.

Incompatible SD Card Capacity: Using an SD card with a storage capacity not supported by your DJI device can lead to compatibility issues.

Accidental SD Card Formatting: Mistakenly formatting the SD card erases all data, potentially causing data loss and access problems.

Corrupted or Outdated Device Driver: Outdated or corrupted drivers in your computer or DJI device can hinder proper communication with the SD card.

Virus Infection: Malware or virus infections can corrupt the data on the SD card, making it inaccessible or unusable.

Card or File Corruption: General corruption of the SD card or specific files can occur due to various reasons, leading to data loss or read/write errors.

Bad SD Card Sectors: Damaged sectors on the SD card can prevent access to parts of the card, leading to errors in data storage and retrieval.

Corrupted File System: A corrupted file system on the SD card can render the data stored on it unreadable or lead to formatting requirements.

Locked SD Card Switch: The physical lock switch on some SD cards, when engaged, prevents data from being written to or deleted from the card.

Abrupt SD Card Removal: Removing the SD card abruptly from the any device or a computer can corrupt data and disrupt ongoing data transfer processes.

How to Maintain Your DJI SD Card

Maintaining your DJI SD card is crucial for ensuring smooth and uninterrupted drone operations. Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep your SD card in top condition:

Avoiding Malware/Virus Infections:

  • Stick to downloading software and firmware only from official websites.
  • Keep your computer's antivirus and anti-malware protection up-to-date.
  • Install applications exclusively from trusted sources to prevent your drone and SD card from getting infected.

Ensuring Top-Grade SD Cards:

  • Always buy SD cards from reputable manufacturers.
  • Purchase memory cards from trusted stores and avoid buying used storage devices.
  • This approach helps in avoiding faulty and malfunctioning SD cards.

Preventing SD Card and File Corruption:

  • Eject the SD card from your DJI drone before physically removing it.
  • Avoid removing the SD card during shooting or data transfers.
  • Use reputable apps for accessing SD card files and be cautious when changing file extensions or systems.

Protecting SD Card from Physical Damage:

  • Store your SD card in a safe place, away from children, moisture, and extreme temperatures.
  • Keep it in its original storage case to protect it from water, dirt, dust, and sunlight.

By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of SD card problems and ensure a more reliable and enjoyable drone flying experience. Remember, a well-maintained SD card is key to capturing and preserving those amazing aerial shots without any hiccups.


This was quite a long article and I’m glad you stuck around until the end of it. I think we’ve covered pretty much everything that has to do with the problems you’re likely to face with your DJI drone’s SD card.

Sometimes there are no solutions except for entirely replacing the memory card and you’ll just have to accept that. Even the perfect sd cards, like batteries, degrade over time and get slower as you keep formatting them. So sooner or later you’ll have to replace them.

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we'll answer all questions related to the above article:

Does SD card speed matter for drones?

Yes, SD card speed is important for drones. A faster card ensures smooth recording, especially for high-resolution videos like 4K.

Can I Use Any Brand of SD Card in My DJI Drone, or Are Specific Brands Recommended?

While most SD cards work, DJI recommends specific brands for optimal performance. Brands like SanDisk and Samsung are often preferred for their reliability.

How Often Should I Format My DJI Drone's SD Card for Optimal Performance?

It's good practice to format your DJI drone's SD card regularly, ideally before each major shooting session, to maintain optimal performance and prevent data corruption.

What Are the Signs of an Imminent SD Card Failure in DJI Drones?

Signs of SD card failure include frequent error messages, inability to save files, slow performance, and corrupted files.

How Does Firmware Affect SD Card Performance in DJI Drones?

Firmware updates can improve SD card compatibility and performance. Keeping your drone's firmware updated ensures better stability and functionality with SD cards.

Can High Altitude or Extreme Temperatures Affect My DJI Drone's SD Card Performance?

Yes, extreme temperatures and high altitudes can affect SD card performance. It's best to use the drone within the recommended environmental conditions to avoid issues.

What Are the Maximum Storage Capacities Supported by Different DJI Drone Models?

The maximum storage capacity varies by model. Most DJI drones support up to 128GB, but it's best to check the specific model's specifications for exact details.

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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